I may never award this particular prize again, but a spectacular episode of incompetent mendacity like this needs to be immortalized. The Marmion Award is named in honor of “Marmion,” the long epic poem by novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). The work is best known for its lines:
Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!
A Palmer too! No wonder why.
I felt rebuked beneath his eye.
I don’t know what Palmer has to do with it, but the reasons for the award will be immediately apparent when one reads the hilarious and deadpan Oconee County Sheriff’s Office account of the shoplifting arrest of a mother-daughter team at a Walmart’s in Oconee County, South Carolina. While it is refreshing, in an era when so many teens are estranged from their parents and reject their values, to see a mother and daughter so close in interests and ambitions, I cannot help reflect on how the daughter in this case never had a fighting chance to join the ranks of honest, respectable, productive members of society, since her mother has obviously raised her to be a shameless thief and a liar, and by the evidence of this report, succeeded in her goal. The report also shows, unfortunately, that a proud mentor’s offspring is unlikely to become a convincing liar if her mother and teacher is this inept at it herself.
Here is the report, reprinted in the Oconee Patch. I want to thank the patch, Fark, which flagged it, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, which preserved it for posterity, and especially the Hammond-Jacksons for giving me, in my depressed holiday state, the best laugh I’ve had in a long, long time.
Teen Faced With Shoplifting Charge Repeatedly Lies About Her Name and Age, Deputy Reports
Oconee County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the 17-year-old and her mother in connection with an alleged incident at Wal-mart last week. An arrest does not mean a conviction.
A Winder teen authorities eventually determined to be 17-years-old and her mother told Oconee County Sheriff’s deputies the girl “could not be arrested” on a shoplifting charge because she was only 16, according to an incident report. Deputies were called to Wal-mart on Epps Bridge Parkway where a store security guard said he’d witnessed the mother-daughter duo try to steal more than $500 worth of merchandise.
When asked for her date of birth, a deputy says the teen, who initially identified herself as Lavera, paused before stating “02/01/1992.” The deputy replied that that would make her 20. According to the report, the teen paused again, then said her date of birth was actually “02/01/1994.” When the deputy pointed out that that would mean she was 18, he says the teen’s mother jumped in and argued her daughter’s name was actually “Kimberly” and that she was born on “02/01/1994.”
The teen also insisted she was really Kimberly and that she had given her sister’s name at first because she was nervous, according to the report.
“When I again explained that the [date of birth] she gave me would make her 18-years-old, she again appeared to be counting in her head, and when she could not come up with an answer, she and [the mother] started crying uncontrollably and would no longer answer my questions,” the deputy wrote. Neither had forms of identification, he added.
A relative was called to pick up a small child and the deputy told the teen she would need to go to the jail until he could verify who she was. He said the mother then claimed the teen was only 15 and threatened to sue the deputy, he said. At the jail, the mother was placed in a holding cell and the teen was placed in a juvenile holding facility while the deputy contacted Winder Police. He says the officers told him they were familiar with the women and advised “Kimberly” was probably “Lavera.”
The deputy spoke again with the mother who this time reportedly told him Kimberly and Lavera were twins and that Kimberly was 18 but Lavera was not. The deputy again pointed out the inconsistency. After the teen was informed she’d be booked under the name “Jane Doe” until she could provide an identification, the deputy says the teen finally admitted that her name was Lavera and that her birth date was 02/01/1995.
Lavera Irene Hammond-Jackson, and her mother, Stella Hammond-Jackson, 33, were each charged with felony theft by shoplifting. Additionally Lavera Hammond- Jackson was charged with giving a false name while her mother faces a charge of obstruction.
Congratulations, Lavera and Stella, on being honored with the first ever Ethics Alarms Marmion Award. Merry Christmas to you both, and to Lavera, a happy birthday too, whenever it was.
10 thoughts on “Introducing “The Marmion Award” and Its 2012 Honorees, Lavera Irene Hammond-Jackson and Stella Hammond-Jackson”
Thank you, Jack! And Merry Christmas. I laughed out so loud on the bus that everyone stared at me. It was the part about the twins that got me. Please share on Fb.
I just did. The twins story is where I lost it as well, especially after the mother explained that the twins weren’t both the same age. It’s like a George Costanza episode!
That’s right up there with a guy, I know who said to the cops after they stopped him for a broken taillight, they found he was driving on a suspended lisence, they searched the car and found $500. When asked if he was dealing he said, ” no officer that’s money I took from my job!” at least he told the truth.
‘Palmer’ probably means here someone who has made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
You’re right, and I’m an idiot. Love Sir Walter’s novels, never could wade through his poems, and I’m obviously the worse for that. Thanks.
Exactly, Robon. In those days, a palmer was supposed to be a paragon of virtue!
Generations and cultures of corruption are interesting sociology.
Here in Fort Worth, a group of Irish Travelers, known as the Greenhorn-Carrolls, has settled on the west side of town after generations of moving from location to location as a group. It is rumored that the leaders of main families of this group have decided to start leading more mainstream lives. Yet, they are still VERY VERY insular, and certain practices by members of this group indicate that not all are eagerly partaking in the new-found civic virtue.
There have been reports of adults sending youngsters into department stores to cause scenes. While the store authorities congregate to deal with scene and are thus distracted, 2 or 3 adults would go in and begin shoplifting.
This has lessened of late, but the sociology of this is interesting.
Or, as the say, the family that preys together stays together!
Or at least creates some pretty interesting prisoner’s dilemmas together!